I couldn’t ignore the beautiful photograph that accompanied Amanda Hesser’s recreation of a 1948 tomato preserve recipe in The New York Times Magazine last month. I cut the recipe short and marinated the tomatoes in sugar for only a few hours instead of overnight. I didn’t seed the tomatoes either, nor did I remove the lemon slices when I stored the finished product in a glass jar. My version still came out nice enough to spread in toasted baguettes and crackers.
8 plum tomatoes
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
a small knob of ginger, peeled, sliced
1/4 of a lemon, thinly sliced, seeded
1. Boil some water in a small pot. Skin tomatoes by cutting a shallow X in their rounded end. Add tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes using a slotted spoon and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off tomato skins.
2. Layer the tomatoes and sugar in a small Dutch oven. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
3. When ready to cook, put all the spices in a cheesecloth and add to the tomatoes along with the sliced lemon. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring and gently crushing often, until the tomatoes have become slightly translucent and the syrup is thick and begins to gel. Don’t boil the syrup, or the tomatoes will fall apart.
4. Remove the spice bag. Remove Dutch oven from heat and let tomato preserve cool before transferring to a resealable glass jar.
Tomatillos are related to tomatoes